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Networking of SMEs in the nano-biomedical sector


Specific challenge: Many innovative nano-biomedical developments are initiated by small companies. However, they often miss the necessary knowledge of the regulatory requirements for translation of their ideas, of the market and of the financial aspects of funding the developments and the business. The development and supply chain also show shortcomings. SMEs are often fragmented, dispersed and rarely organised in representative associations to address these problems with the result of missed opportunities for innovation. This is especially true in nanomedicine, covering diagnostics, therapeutics and regenerative medicine.

Scope: In order to alleviate this problem, the ETP Nanomedicine developed the concept of a 'Translation Hub'. This Coordination and Support Action shall provide advice and follow-up at all stages of the research and development and provide examples of best practice to European R&D teams in nano-bio-medicine. It shall provide SMEs and other organisations with a technological and business oriented assessment of their technologies and provide business advice before engaging further resources and efforts for preclinical and clinical tests.

The Coordination and Support Action shall network SMEs, aiming to improve their knowledge of translation in a sustainable way; to build bridges with academia and hospitals; and to link them with large companies and investors. It shall provide education and training in translation and entrepreneurship to academia and SMEs and help the showcasing of preclinical or early clinical proofs of concepts to large companies and investors. It will assist nanomedicine research projects in better anticipating the requirements of the translation process, in order to improve the probability of the developments to reach the market. It will also seek synergies with other relevant SME support networks.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. No more than one proposal will be funded.

Expected impact:

                Reinforce support to European SMEs and academia as drivers of innovations in nanomedicine, by assisting them in the development of their bottom-up ideas, going from pre-clinical proof of concept to late clinical trials.

                Improve the innovation capacity of the European nano-bio-medical sector – especially at the level of SMEs - through catalysing a more effective translation process from research into industrial marketable products.

                Improve the knowledge in the research community of the translation, regulatory and business aspects of new nano-biomedical developments, leading to more efficient use of resources and research.

                Improve the capacities of SME networks regarding technologies and facilities that are required  to facilitate the transfer of scientific knowledge to market or to facilitate clinical studies.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Action